SALEM, Ore. (CN) - An ethics hearing for an Oregon judge who refused to officiate at same-sex marriages and hung a portrait of Adolf Hitler in his courtroom turned Thursday to whether the judge used his authority to intimidate a referee at his son's soccer game.
On the third day of his hearing, Marion County Circuit Court Judge Vance Day said he attended most of his son's soccer games at Chemeketa Community College in Salem. But he told the 10-member panel of the Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability that this game was different.
On Oct. 17, 2013, Chemeketa was playing a home game with a big rival, Clark College from Vancouver, Wash. It was a rowdy game, with seven yellow cards handed out.
At one point, Day's son leapt for a header at the same time as his opponent. Both missed and bashed their heads together. Daniel Day fell to the ground, temporarily losing consciousness.
Andrew Deuker, center referee for the soccer game, said during the hearing in the State Capitol Building that he took the injury seriously.
"He immediately fell to the ground, so I stopped the game and called for the trainer to come out," Deuker said during questioning by assistant commission attorney Darlene Pasieczny. "It was a serious injury."
Day angrily confronted him on the technical side of the field, where spectators are not normally allowed, Deuker said.
Deuker said it was the only time such a thing had happened in his 17 years as a referee.
"Never have I ever been encountered by a spectator," Deuker said.
Shayla Green, another referee on the field that day, said spectators rarely cross the field.
"It's disrespectful and outside the norm of accepted behavior," Green said in her testimony.
Deuker said Day slammed his business card down on the referees' table to show he was a judge and appeared to copy down Deuker's license plate number when he left the game.
"He was very forceful," Deuker said. "It was not a calm demeanor at all. It was one where, if I intimidate you, you will give me the information I am asking for."
Green said Day spoke in a manner she considered condescending and rude.
"He said in a way like he thought he was above everyone else that he was going to report Mr. Deuker," Green said.
She remembers his shoving a card into Deuker's hand unbidden.
"I felt like he was trying to intimidate all of us, but it was mainly Mr. Deuker," Green said. "When I found out, I was shocked that he was a judge. I thought that of all people, he should have been professional about it and remained composed."
The altercation rattled him so much, Deuker said, he was still worried about his safety two years later.
Day flatly denied the referees' version.
"I would never intimidate anybody with my position or even my person," he said.
Day downplayed the incident in his deposition with commission attorney Victoria Blatchley.
"I don't know if I'd use the word confront," Day said. "I talked to him about my concerns. I expressed to him that I had player safety concerns about how the game was controlled."